9 Free Calligraphy Practice Sheets

Stacy Fisher is an expert on crafting, sewing, and frugal finds, sharing her knowledge of hands-on DIY creations, finding freebies, and budgeting. Stacy was a guest on "The Dr. Oz Show" and featured in Woman's World Magazine. She has nearly two decades of writing and editing experience.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

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These free calligraphy practice sheets will teach you the basics of modern calligraphy. There are practice worksheets that teach you brushstrokes, help you relax your breathing, and even teach you a few different styles of the alphabet.

Modern calligraphy, sometimes referred to as faux calligraphy, doesn't require any special tools. All you need is an everyday writing utensil and some paper.

Being able to write using modern calligraphy means that you can write beautiful notes and letters impressing all your friends and family. It's really perfect for someone who is looking to improve their handwriting, whether you want to make it decorative at not. You'll learn some great techniques that you'll be able to use in your everyday handwriting. It's also great for the beginner, who may want to get into traditional calligraphy or brush lettering in the future.

If you find that you enjoy these free calligraphy practice sheets, you may want to consider taking a calligraphy class .

Breathing Drills Traceable Worksheet

Crooked Calligraphy

Breathing in a relaxed manner while you're writing is how you get smooth letters that flow one into another. Breathing this way can be more challenging than you may think. This free calligraphy worksheet will help you regulate your breath while learning some basic calligraphy strokes.

There are more calligraphy freebies here including guideline sheets, envelope addressing templates, and a wide variety of tracing worksheets. You'll get these for free too, when you download the breathing drills worksheet. There are even some seasonal worksheets that will help when you're addressing those Christmas cards and sending your holiday letters.

Breathing Drills Traceable Worksheet from Crooked Calligraphy

Printable Pencil Calligraphy Worksheet

This calligraphy worksheet was made especially for regular pencils. It has practice areas for downstrokes, upstrokes, horizontal strokes, and an uppercase and lowercase alphabet tracing guide.

Before you get started, check out this Beginner's Guide to Pencil Calligraphy so you can be readily prepared for pencil calligraphy. You'll learn all about choosing a pencil, holding the pencil, achieving stroke variation, using a lightbox, and waterproofing your paper to avoid smudges.

Printable Pencil Calligraphy Worksheet from TPK

How to Do Faux Calligraphy Worksheet

The Happy Ever Crafter

Before you download this worksheet, be sure to check out the written and video directions. It will teach you a ton about faux calligraphy.

The free calligraphy worksheet teaches you the basics of downstrokes and then asks you to try out your new skills on a copy of the alphabet.

How to Do Faux Calligraphy Worksheet from The Happy Ever Crafter

Faux Calligraphy Alphabet Worksheet

Scribbling Grace

This Faux Calligraphy 101 worksheet teaches you how to write pretty script letters and then fill in the downstrokes. It will take you through each step and then give you room to practice on your own. There's also a video that goes along with this worksheet if you need some extra help.

Faux Calligraphy Alphabet Worksheet from Scribbling Grace

Calligraphy Practice Sheet

Small Brown Writes

Grab a pencil and a pen, as well as a ruler and an eraser, for this calligraphy practice sheet. You'll be learning how to write the letters and add downstrokes. An emphasis is placed on making letters uniformly slanted.

Calligraphy Practice Sheet from Small Brown Writes

Basic Faux Calligraphy Exemplar

A micron ink pen is recommended for this worksheet but really any writing utensil will do. Using the "Kaitlin" style of calligraphy, you can trace this lowercase alphabet and then fill in your downstrokes.

Basic Faux Calligraphy Exemplar from TPK

Faux Calligraphy Alphabet Worksheets

Smiling Colors

There are two faux calligraphy worksheets here, an uppercase alphabet and a lowercase alphabet. Simply print the worksheets and then use a writing utensil (like a gel pen) to trace the letters and add the downstrokes.

There are lots of other free worksheets here on brush lettering and other writing techniques.

Faux Calligraphy Alphabet Worksheets from Smiling Colors

Faux Calligraphy Practice

Teachers Pay Teachers

This free calligraphy worksheet is great for the beginner who wants to practice the alphabet. It's an uppercase and lowercase alphabet that you can trace and then add downstrokes to. There's also a page of some words that you can practice.

Faux Calligraphy Practice from Teachers Pay Teachers

Free Faux Calligraphy Worksheet

Vial Designs

This set of modern calligraphy worksheets is a great way to wrap up your practice. It has a great overview of downstrokes and then has room to practice the alphabet: first by tracing, and then by writing it yourself. There's a blank page at the end that you can use to practice your new skills.

Free Faux Calligraphy Worksheet from Vial Designs

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free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Bullet Journal Printables

Masha Plans

31+ Free Printable Lettering And Calligraphy Worksheets

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31+ Free Printable Lettering Practice Sheets | Masha Plans

Looking for a way to improve your Bullet Journal lettering ? You’re in the right place; here are tons of FREE printable hand lettering worksheets to help you master this skill.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or honing in on your skills, these helpful resources will keep your creativity flowing and improve your brush lettering and modern calligraphy styles.

Get ready to level up those talents with our easy-to-access PDFs that can be printed at home without worrying about the cost or waste.

And don’t worry it’s all beginner-friendly, and I’ll leave you with a lot of resources on where to start your lettering journey.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Lettering is one of the skills you might want to master for your Bullet Journal pages. I’m always in awe of the beautiful calligraphy people use to decorate their journal pages.

What I quickly realized is that the secret to better lettering is, of course, practice, so I did my research and found tons of free resources and printable calligraphy worksheets to improve this skill.

But let’s start from what you’ll need for using these worksheets first.

This post may contain affiliate links. They will be of no extra expense for you, but I receive a small credit. Please see my  Disclosure  for more details. Thank you for supporting Masha Plans!

How To Use Calligraphy Worksheets

Before we dive into printable brush lettering practice sheets, I thought I should mention a few tips on how to use them because I surely made a lot of mistakes with them myself and paid dearly for it.

If you are practicing your letters right in your worksheets, make sure you use high-quality printing paper (like this HP Premium Paper ); otherwise, the paper might damage your pen, and we never want that!

Alternatively, you can also use any paper and just use a tracing paper sheet for practicing. That way, you’ll also be able to reuse your worksheets, plus tracing paper is much more affordable.

My recommendation would be this marker paper or this tracing paper .

HP Paper Printer | 8.5 x 11 Paper | Premium 32 lb | 1 Ream - 500 Sheets | 100 Bright | Made in USA - FSC Certified | 113100R

Lettering Supplies

The next question is – what kind of pens do you need to practice with these worksheets?

The basic thing you need to know about pens you use for brush lettering is that they should have a flexible tip. Or at least have the possibility to create both thin and thick lines.

First of all, let’s start with the most budget version, which you might even have at home – Crayola Super Tips !

Yes, these little devils can create the same brush calligraphy effects as any other brush pen, but for a much, much lower cost.

There is even a special course you can take for free to learn how to use these markers for brush lettering (more details at the end of the post).

TOM56185 - Tombow Dual Brush Art Pen 10-piece Set - Bright Colors

Other than that, here are some pens I’d recommend:

  • Tombow Dual Brush Pens . They are amazing, have tons of colors, and, most importantly – their brushes are very beginner-friendly. Plus, the marker tip will help you fix any small mistakes in your lettering you might make as a beginner.
  • Smaller brush pen for more detailed work, such as headers for your weekly spreads. Here is where you have a wonderful option of Tombow Fudenosuke pens . They come in hard and soft tips so that you can control the style of your lettering.

For more recommendations, check the end of the post.

Free Brush Lettering Worksheets

The best way to learn brush lettering is, of course, practice, so let's dive into the worksheets you can use to rock your calligraphy skills.

We will start with basic strokes and then move to more elaborate ones like words and quotes.

Before I give you the links, I want to mention that these are from different creators, so there is no one link to download them all; just click on each name separately. And, of course, for my printables, you can sign up at the end of the post.

Brush Lettering Practice Sheets With Basic Strokes

Since practicing brush lettering starts from basic strokes, let’s start with free basic stroke printables.

You’ll see that every creator has their own style, so even brush strokes might look a bit different. It’s not a problem – you can do any style you like. The important thing here is – to keep all your strokes in the same style, particularly angled the same way.

Ok, you’re ready now, so let’s dive in and check out these practice sheets to rock your calligraphy skills.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Worksheet That Will Improve Your Technique

Awesome Alice has a lot of amazing lettering printables; there will be more featured below. But for beginners, the best is to start with these basic strokes.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Printable Brush Lettering Practice Sheets – Strokes

I like these worksheets because they have a lot of interesting variations on the basic strokes we talked about above.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Pen Calligraphy Worksheet

This one includes slant basic strokes, as well as a sample alphabet. It has a more traditional calligraphy look to it, but the basic strokes are basic strokes. So it works even if you’re going for a more modern calligraphy feel.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Basic Strokes Worksheets for Small Brush Pens

There is a difference in size between the large and small tips, so it’s good to have worksheets for both. I love that Nicole also provides the files for digital lettering on your iPad.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Basic Strokes Worksheets for Large Brush Pens

Nicole has a lot of worksheets (and there will be more links to her resources). Again I love how she decided to include both small and bit tip brush pens worksheets.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Not Your Average Brush Pen Drills Sheet – The Postman's Knock

If you ever get bored with your usual drills – just try out this worksheet! the main principles are the same, but it feels very different and more fun.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Hand Lettering Practice Sheets for Beginners

She has a lot of lettering practice sheets; all you need is to sign up for her mailing list which will bring you lots of lettering resources.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Basic Strokes Worksheet

The strokes here are very basic, but of course, that’s a good thing. I like the post itself as well since it provides a lot of interesting information on lettering.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Practice Sheets

This one includes basic strokes but also just a grid to help you practice more.

These are not the only printable calligraphy worksheets by the way, so keep on reading, and you’ll find so many more.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Lined Paper

You can practice your lettering and keep the brush strokes even by using specially lined paper. I actually have the empty worksheets with lining that helps with brush lettering, as well as several other worksheets and resources.

You can get them all if you click "get free printables" or just join in the form at the end of the post.

Free Lettering Worksheets Letter By Letter

Here are some free resources to learn brush lettering letter by letter.

Note here that even if it sounds the same in many resources, the style of letters is always different, so be sure to check them all out to find the style you love.

We will start from the basics - small and capital letters of the alphabet.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

FREE Handlettering Practice Sheets for YOU!

All lower case alphabet hand-drawn by Shawna Clingerman.

Moreover, these worksheets are great for large tip brush pens, like Tombow Dual Brush .

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Uppercase Brush Lettering Practice Sheets

If you want to try your hand in uppercase – this worksheet is for you.

Plus, again, you can use this one with large tip brush pens.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

12 pages of lettering worksheets that include minuscule letters, as well as some phrases.

I just wanted to mention that even though there are many worksheets here for the alphabet, all of them are different and created in different styles.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Hand Lettering 101 - 8 Worksheets

You’ll not just have an alphabet, but you’ll have it in 8 different styles.

Plus also, each letter has some words you can practice.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Practice Sheets: Lowercase Alphabet -

The lowercase brush pen lettering worksheet is great for small tip brush pens.

This one also comes with a file for Procreate to rock your digital brush lettering.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Printable Hand Lettering Practice Sheets — Liz on Call

This one includes both minuscule and capital letters.

The cool thing about these worksheets is that each letter inside is divided by basic strokes, so it will be significantly easier to practice them.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Hand Lettering Practice Sheets - Printable Brush Pen Lettering Guides

In very different brush lettering styles, these worksheets include lower and upper cases.

Also, something that you don't often see - numbers.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

26 Free Lettering Worksheets - 50 Ways to Letter the Alphabet

Shelby from Little Coffee Fox is a great master of lettering, and of course, she has some awesome worksheets.

These have a page for each letter, and each page has 50 ways to letter a certain letter of the alphabet.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Uppercase Alphabet Hand Lettering Practice Sheets

There are 5 pages in this worksheet covered with uppercase alphabet practice. All you need to get your access is to sign up for her resources vault.

There are also files for practicing in Procreate available. And these are great for small tip brush pens like Tombow Fudenosuke.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Practice Sheets - Love Lettered Here

This worksheet is just one page but has all the minuscule alphabet.

I want to mention that the lettering style is very very cute!

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Learn Brush Lettering with These Free Practice Sheets ⋆ The Petite Planner

The Petite Planner has beautiful lettering skills, so of course, with her being an educator as well, she had to create some lettering worksheets.

These include capital and minuscule letters and some words you might want to letter in your Bullet Journal.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Practice Sheet - Minimalist Alphabet

Capital and minuscule letters in a very cute font!

This worksheet also has little helpful arrows to guide you through the process of writing all the letters.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

FREE Practice Sheets

Worksheets with capital and minuscule letters.

The best part is – they are in a very beautiful flourished style. Definitely give it a look!

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Lettering worksheets: 9+ FREE printable practice sheets to trace

Beautiful worksheets and these are not just about calligraphy; they also include different handwriting fonts and such.

Speaking of, you can check my post  Font Ideas For Your Bullet Journal  to get some more inspiration.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Resources — Calligraphy Joburg

This resource has worksheets on the lowercase alphabet, holiday greetings, and basic strokes.

And the best part is - they are available for both small tip and large tip brush pens.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Copperplate Calligraphy Lowercase Letters Part 1

This site has a lot of lettering-related freebies, so be sure to give it a look.

This particular one has free printable lowercase lettering worksheets for large brush pens.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Calligraphy Worksheets Download – Brush Lettering and 53-page Copperplate Calligraphy

This is a huge resource with 53+ worksheets.

They include basic strokes, lower and upper cases, and some extra holiday lettering pieces.

Words And Sentences Lettering Practice Sheets

Now that you know how to write letters, it might be a good time to start with writing words.

Thankfully there are tons of worksheets for that, so let’s take a look.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Days of the Week Brush Lettering Practice Sheets

One more practice worksheet for days of the week.

Considering all worksheets come from different creators and have different styles it’s always good to have a variety of them.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Months of the Year Free Lettering Practice Worksheets

Worksheet that includes a lot of words useful for your planner setup.

From names of the months of the year to the “this month”, and “review” kind of words you’ll use in your planner pretty often.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Days of the Week Lettering Practice Worksheet

One more days of the week worksheet.

Since for your weekly spreads, you would mostly need it to be in a smaller size. So this worksheet is perfect, and it works well with small tip brush pens.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

FREE Hand Lettering Practice Worksheets

You can find many interesting worksheets here, including such important basic ones as months of the year and days of the week.

All these will be great for your Bullet Journal, whether it’s your monthly setup or a quote page.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Brush Lettering Worksheet For Harry Potter Fans

Want to create a Harry Potter Bullet Journal theme? These worksheets are perfect for you.

Full of names and different other Harry Potter words to add to your pages.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Printable Holiday’s Lettering Practice Sheets

One more cool worksheet from Alice, and this time it’s all about the holidays.

Learn to brush letter different holiday names with these worksheets.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Free Lettering Practice Sheets And More

Pigeon Letters is a master of lettering (I learned a lot from  her book !) so of course, she has plenty of lettering resources as freebies.

I’ve got access to ger resources library myself, and I must say it’s full of useful things.

Other Calligraphy Worksheets

We are done with all the basics by now, but I still found a few other printable worksheets that might be fun to explore.

These are not a must-have in mastering lettering, but it might be fun to do those.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

How to Do Faux Calligraphy (+FREE Worksheets)

While you’re still working on your brush lettering, you might want to try faux calligraphy.

This is a fun way to create a brush lettering effect without actually using a brush pen! 

And it’s not just a worksheet; it also comes with a pretty detailed guide to faux calligraphy.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Flourishing Worksheet

Flourishing your letters can add a lot of fun to your words, plus it’s a good way to fill out empty spaces on your quote pages.

This worksheet will give you some ideas on what kind of flourishes you can use in your lettering.

free calligraphy practice sheets download

3 FREE Hand Lettering Worksheets for Beginners

Want to improve your hand lettering? This worksheet is for you.

If you’re seriously working on your handwriting, though, check my blog post  9 Simple Techniques To Improve Your Handwriting .

Masha Plans Free Lettering Worksheets

I already mentioned that in the list above, but I thought it’s a good idea to mention it again – there are some lettering printables I’ve created to help you out, including a worksheet with more flourish ideas, lined paper for lettering and practice sheets for the days of the week and months of the year.

To get access you need to simply sign up in the form below, and once you confirm your subscription, freebies and resources on mastering lettering will be on the way to your inbox.

More About Brush Lettering

Now that you have all those amazing practice sheets, you’re ready to start improving your brush lettering.

So here are a few more blog posts that will help you with that:

  • Beginner’s Guide To Brush Lettering
  • Free Online Calligraphy Courses
  • How To Enhance Your Brush Lettering
  • The Best Pens For Brush Lettering

I think you’re all set to go and conquer the world of brush lettering!

I hope this post was interesting. If you find it so, please share! If you enjoy my content and want to show appreciation, please consider supporting me with a cup of coffee .

And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be a Blob!

free calligraphy practice sheets download

17 Comments

Thank you so much for mentioning my small brush lettering practice sheet!

Thank you for creating it!

I see that I am not the only one confused, haha! That makes me feel a little better. :) I think you have to click on each individual link and the total number of pages add up to more than 30. So it’s not just a one click download.

Yes, it isn’t! Since these are made by different creators so you do have to download them separately. Sorry for the confusion, I’ll try to update the post to make these things more clear.

i cannot find that blog post please send that printing link in this comment box

All the pink box text are the links. There are too many to post here, sorry!

I was confused too…. I don’t think there is one link to download all at once. You have to click on each individual link, and I guess the total number of pages is “31+”

Yeah, it’s each download with its own link =) I’ll try to edit and clarify this in the text for the future.

HI. Where is the link to download the 31+ printables?

All the links are in the blog post =)

I am going to be working with a patient with depression who used to really enjoy calligraphy, can’t wait to print these out.

Thank you Masha <33

Really need this for my daughter

Happy you were able to find it here =)

Gracias en verdad vi varias paginas pero ninguna me funciono y esta si en verdad muchas gracias

thank you this was helpful.

I’m happy to hear that =)

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Free Practice Sheet

Can't wait to get started on your calligraphy journey? Download this free calligraphy practice sheet now!

Featuring professional level guidelines and a Copperplate slant of 55 degrees, this practice sheet will be the perfect start for any calligraphy novice. 

Can't view the PDF above? Click the PDF icon to the left to download the file.

Worksheet Digital Downloads

Interested in learning more? CalligraPhilly has a large collection of worksheets available for purchase and digital download on Etsy: Click to visit the CalligraPhilly Etsy Shop

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free calligraphy practice sheets download

Modern Calligraphy for Beginners – Basic Strokes & Free Practice Sheets

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Getting Started…

I feel like there are imaginary barriers to starting new hobbies, whether it be learning an instrument, going to the gym or modern calligraphy, these barriers stop some people from ever starting. I believe it’s 2 things, a fear of sucking at it and an absence of knowledge of the topic. Now I can’t help the fear of sucking at it because when anyone starts anything it is not going to be very good, look at my early posts on Instagram from 2014 (Below)

Table of Contents

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Yeeeesh.. and there were a lot of worse ones I didn’t post haha. This teaches us all that everyone starts somewhere! Seriously though, if you press on through the discomfort and practice you will get quite good quite fast. I hope to motivate some people that may not have learned the art of calligraphy through this post. I intend to get rid of those barriers by posting some really easy to use beginner posts. Below are some basics for beginners as well as some tips and hints that any aspiring calligraphers should know for each script.

But First….

Just so you are aware, I have created a Master Class Modern Calligraphy practice sheets which are full of all the knowledge that I wish I had when I first started. Check it out:

free calligraphy practice sheets download

A Very Brief History of Pointed Pen Calligraphy              

Copperplate, sometimes referred to as English round hand, first emerged in Europe in the 16th century, but were more popularized in the 19th century. The name comes from the etched copper plates that were used to print the copybooks students learned from. Since there was a disconnect in the times this style was used, the term “copperplate” has been commonly referred to any old fashioned fancy handwriting. All forms of copperplate are written at a slant of 55 degrees. If you would like to learn copperplate, I suggest my other page here .

Copperplate Alphabet Calligrascape

Spencerian is a script that was popular in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s in the United States. It was considered the way to write for a business because of it’s oval based style it could be written fast and was still legible. It made it great for taking minutes in a meeting or aid in business correspondence. That was until the widespread of the typewriter in the 1920’s, where it made this wonderful script obsolete. It no longer required skill or effort to make perfect letters and therefore fell out of style. Below is an example Spencerian alphabet.

Spencerian Alphabet

However, modern calligraphy is a deviation of ancient scripts with no standardized alphabet. It is essentially freehand pointed pen cursive. It is a popular style on Instagram and and other social media because the style is dependent on the writer and therefore every time a word is written it will be different. It is also rather easy to learn as you will see later in this post. You just need a pointed pen, ink and know how to write in cursive. If you have those three, read on to learn how!

What Tools to Use

Best Calligraphy Tools for each style of tool

My first tip would definitely be (if you haven’t already) purchase your calligraphy tools. If you don’t have the tools for modern calligraphy, click the link below to see a list of my recommended tools you can get on Amazon here: Recommended Tools for Calligraphy

Short list of tools:

  • Oblique Holder – The holder is just an easy way to hold your actual writing instrument, the nib, at an angle. An oblique holder is not required but it has help me improve.
  • Ink – Most inks will do just fine.
  • Good Paper – Very key to get a paper that is not too absorbent. Here is more details about calligraphy paper: Calligraphy Paper Comparison .
  • Nib – Too flexible and it would be hard to learn with and too rigid requires a lot of force. Here are more details about nibs: Best Nib for Calligraphy

If you don’t have the above tools…

How to Do Calligraphy with a Crayola Marker Tutorial

If you do not have the above tools (or just ordered them) you can still start learning the strokes of modern calligraphy with a Crayola Marker Here!

Calligraphy Practice Sheets

Calligraphy practice sheets are an important tool to learning. Download your FREE copy of my Lowercase Modern Calligraphy Practice Sheets below as you will use this later:

If you find the lowercase sheets useful to your learning I have prepared a premium Uppercase Modern Calligraphy workbook with 3 times the styles per letter for 78 unique letters to practice! More details below 🙂

Getting Started Learning Modern Calligraphy

If you prefer watching to reading I have two Modern Calligraphy videos on Youtube to follow along with:

Preparing Your Tools

First thing you do once you have your tools is insert y our nib into your pen carefully, making sure not to touch the tip with your fingers. Next, you will want to get a small bowl (that you don’t care about, as it will be filled with ink water) fill it with warm water and dish soap. This water reservoir is to wash your nib periodically after writing, because after writing for a bit, your pen may not write properly due to dried on ink. So just give it a swish and use a paper towel to dry it. As a nib that is wet with water will write “unpredictably,” to say the least.

Zebra G Calligraphy Nib Anatomy

Next you will want to dip your nib to halfway up the  vent hole (above), in the picture below.

Modern Calligraphy ink dipping demonstration 3

If you ever dipped too deep, I would suggest tapping off some extra on the side of the inkwell or making mini strokes on a scrap piece of paper to ensure there are no blobs of too much ink. You can tell if you have too much on the nib when you look at the nib sideways and see a round bump of ink near the tip.

Holding a oblique pen for calligraphy

Next hold the pen where it feels comfortable, which for me is illustrated in the picture above. It is important to keep in mind that if you are using an oblique holder to angle your hand appropriately for the lettering.

Basic Strokes and Letter Formation

There are two main motions to learn, the upstroke : a light stroke using just the tip (number 1 in the picture below) and the downstroke : a slightly pressured stroke (number 2 below) that lessens as you get closer to the baseline. Most letters are made up of these two strokes, which you will practice with your free practice sheets.

Modern Calligraphy Lowercase i Demonstration

There are some slightly different strokes required by different letters. Let’s take “m” for example, there is a lightly pressured hairline for the upstroke, and for the final stroke there 3 steps: light, pressured down stroke then light upstroke.

Modern Calligraphy Lowercase m Demonstration

Here the “u” and “y” have been deconstructed into the separate strokes it takes for each letter. The “u” takes 1 upstroke and 2 downstrokes, while the “y” uses two complex strokes.

Modern Calligraphy Lowercase u and y demonstration

I also just learned recently that I have been taught that I was doing my “e’s” and “l’s” wrong. Your upstroke goes up as normal then you take your pen off the paper and move it horizontally right for a little bit then up and around in one smooth motion. If you look closely at either “e” in the image below, the thin part of the “e” is not one smooth line but two separate lines connected with the downstroke. Try it for yourself and see the difference!

Modern Calligraphy Lowercase e Demonstration

Now you’ve got the basics of letter structure try out the practice sheet, copying the letters as closely as you can. Don’t be discouraged, if I learned it, you can too.

Modern Calligraphy Practice Sheet A

As you complete a line of sheet take the time to review your letters and rate them one of two things: letters you want to make more of with a (✓) and letters you didn’t intend to make and should be put out of their misery with a (✕) like you see below. Mistakes happen to everyone, and that’s why it’s important to practice, to minimize the frequency of letter abominations. 😛

Modern Calligraphy Practice Sheet b and c

When your pen starts “ railroading ” (below) you are out of ink. As you are practicing your letters consciously start remembering how long a dip lasts so that this doesn’t happen in the middle of a letter. In the long run it is always better to dip too early to replenish your ink than too late. However, it is not the biggest deal if you make a little railroad, because you can pick up from where you left off by filling it in with some careful tiny strokes on your next dip. Railroading: when ink makes little train tracks as you can see in the picture below

Railroading Ink when doing calligraphy

Now there are those of you that are railroading at the beginning of the stroke and all your ink drops into a bubble (so frustrating! I’ve been there) there are a couple things that it could be: technique or tools. Your pen angle could be too high relative to the paper. Try lowering your pen pressure and the pen angle. It also could be your tools. It is obvious that the ink is not flowing properly, so clean off your nib with soap and water and dry it with a paper towel. As this removes a bit of the protective oils that come with the nib that may be stopping proper ink flow. If it’s  still  happening, it is possible that the nib you have selected is an advanced nib and should order some beginner friendly ones,  here they are my favourite! If you already using this nib, the ink you are using is not the right thickness, and needs to be thinned out or thickened a little bit.

Modern Calligraphy ink cleaning demonstration 2

Above is a lowercase modern calligraphy alphabet, there are many variations and different ways to write and flourish a letter so if you like writing a letter a different way, go for it! Try, experiment, practice until you are where you want to be with your calligraphy skills.

Calligraphy practice works

It is mainly a Copperplate practice sheet, as there is the 55 degree angle guidelines but can be used as a modern calligraphy practice sheet as well. It allows you to put your high weight paper  into your printer and print this easy guide without having to buy it pre-printed.

The End… but Really it’s just the Beginning!

Feel confident with modern calligraphy now? Try out a more challenging script like copperplate calligraphy:

free calligraphy practice sheets download

  • Copperplate Video Course – Complete video walkthrough teaching the copperplate style from total beginner to pro!
  • Copperplate Practice Sheets – Self learners can take advantage of my premium practice sheets to teach themselves how to write in the copperplate style.
  • Copperplate Blogpost – A list of 3 different ways to learn copperplate calligraphy.

Modern Calligraphy Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading all the way! Hopefully, you found this useful, if you did let me know what this helped you with in the comments!

Also, any questions or comments, I promise that I will answer you!

Thanks a lot 🙂

38 thoughts on “Modern Calligraphy for Beginners – Basic Strokes & Free Practice Sheets”

Hi! Thank you for the free tutorial. 🙂 By the way, how did you make you practice sheets with the letters? Is it really your handwriting? And then you scanned it, ao this would be the end result?

Or you used a certain program to make thi pdf file? How?

Hope to hear from you. Thanks 🙂

Hey, I wrote each of the letters myself, took a picture of each one scaled them in Photoshop and then pasted them in Illustrator. It took a long time but I think it was worth it.

Does this answer help?

Hey, I just loved everything you did there. I hope you read this. You deserve it. You are amazing at this. I totally learnt a great deal from your blog and your tutorial. Kudos to you. Xoxo 😍

Wow, thank you so much for the kind words! 🙂

Thank you for an article. I really like calligraphy and I want to try it. I think I have a chance because everyone who saw my handwriting praised me.

Nice tutorial! My 10 year old son followed along easily & feels excited & confident to begin. Thank you for providing great free worksheets which we printed ahead of time.

Hi Michelle! Thank you for your comment, this is very encouraging to hear. Glad the video and sheets could help 🙂

Thank you so much for the practise sheets Richard. I am a newbie,but very excited to give it a go. Much appreciated,will follow you on instagram 😊

Glad they can help you 🙂

Hi Richard, Thank you so much for all this amazing information!! Do you have an UPPERCASE Modern Calligraphy Practice sheet? Did I miss it? I just got the resources you suggested and I’m looking forward to start this journey of beautiful lettering.

Bless you! Mavi

All uppercase letters will be part of my really indepth video course that I am working on. If you would like to be notified when that happens there’s an email list at the bottom of the page \/ Thanks 🙂

UPDATE: Modern UPPERCASE Premium Practice Sheets now available here: http://calligrascape.com/store/

Thank you very much. That was very helpful. Ernest Ratnayake

I am glad this helped you Ernest!

Woooow! That’s awesome piece of art! Thanks!

Thanks Rafal!

Really enjoyed Great tutorial Thank you Mary

Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

hey mahn uh are one of the kindest youtuber thanks a lot though I would like to be personally taught by but its okay I know that aint possible 🙂

Hey Jeel! Thank you for your kind words 🙂 It would be cool to teach people individually but not feasible for me for now. The closest we can get is me making a full video course, which I hope to make in the future.

Thank you for the practice boards. I too would love to have the Uppercase of the Modern Calligraphy Practice Sheets. Please add me to your list. Thank you for all the great information.

The uppercase sheets are now available on my store here: http://calligrascape.com/store/

They have three styles per letter and a video to work along with.

Hi there, I’m just starting out and after looking at the items you recommend for beginners, I was wondering what you thought about a beginners set? They have several on Amazon would you recommend one set over another? I look forward to hearing back from you.

Thanks in advance for your time 🙂 Megan R.

I have a post here about the best beginner set: http://calligrascape.com/best-calligraphy-set-for-beginners/

That is if you want to only use Amazon. However, if you don’t mind ordering on an another website I suggest paperink arts here. The oblique pen holder does cost more but it’s a more sturdy build. https://www.paperinkarts.com/colobl.html

Hope this helps 🙏

This was very helpful! thank you

You’re welcome. Glad it could help you!

Thank you Richard for these brilliant templates, this is going to really help me learn and it will help me with my tattoo designs aswell

Your welcome, I am glad this will help your learning 😊

Just got my first calligraphy kit, very excited to learn your worksheets are very helpful. I hope this helps me improve my handwriting overall. 🙂

Very excited to learn calligraphy

Thanks so much for the free tutorial, Richard.

Hey no problem Svetlana! 🙂

Thanks ….great help😊

Glad you like it Jezza!

Hello, Your guide is doing more for me than so many others I’ve read. Thank you so very much for all your obvious hard work!

Hi Terri! Thanks for your kind words. I am glad it could help you with your learning!

Thank you for providing us with your guides and videos, Richard, really appreciate the hard work.

At 80 years old, we are never to old to learn. Thanks so much for all the tutorials and videos which are so easy to follow.

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11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable (Free Download)

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Lindsey Bugbee

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This unique calligraphy drills printable is perfect for calligraphers of all levels! It’s fun and relaxing to fill out, and will give you fantastic pressure exertion and stroke practice. Print out a few copies, and fill out this drills sheet more than once!

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11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable | The Postman's Knock

After I made today’s calligraphy drills printable, I filled it out myself to test it. As I worked, I was reminded of how calming calligraphy drills can be. There’s a rhythm to keeping both tines of the nib evenly on the paper, exerting the proper amount of pressure, and going through the dip/clean/repeat process. It’s also refreshing to use your dip pen to create something other than letters! Thus, the title of this calligraphy drills printable came about: “11 Calming Calligraphy Drills”.

How to Use This Calligraphy Drills Printable

This printable is free, and you can find it by clicking here . Download it, then print it off on 32# laserjet paper .

11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable | The Postman's Knock

Once you have printed the sheet, you will notice that each drill starts with an exemplar featuring red arrows. The arrows are there to demonstrate how your nib should move as it creates each drill. That exemplar continues without arrows, and finally fades into gray.

11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable | The Postman's Knock

You’ll get the most out of this calligraphy drills printable by tracing over the gray parts of the drills first. Feel free to use a straight pen or an oblique pen , and whichever nib that you prefer! Remember to apply pressure when the stroke thickens, and let up on pressure when the stroke is thin. Tracing over the gray characters will accustom you to the drill. Once you get to the end of the gray characters, keep writing the drill on your own!

11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable | The Postman's Knock

As you write, don’t forget that this is supposed to be a relaxing activity. If the drills don’t turn out perfectly, that’s okay! No matter what the result, you should be proud of yourself for sticking with it and filling out the sheet. The more you practice with this drills sheet, the better you’ll get at doing the drills!

What Makes This Calligraphy Drills Printable Special

I love creating calligraphy, and I think that one of the secrets to learning is not to take it too seriously. Because of that, these drills are unique exercises that you probably won’t see anywhere else. Of course, I always have a lot of fun naming each drill … I think that names help to give drills more personality!

11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable | The Postman's Knock

While the drills are meant to be engaging, they also have a purpose. Every drill focuses on pen pressure regulation with a combination of thick and thin strokes. Many of the drills have ample curves so you can practice making nice, rounded strokes. Each drill was made with slant lines in mind, so you’ll also get a chance to work on your right-leaning slant!

11 Calming Calligraphy Drills Printable | The Postman's Knock

If you enjoy filling out this free calming calligraphy drills sheet, then you will love the all-new Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Under the Sea Edition and the Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Garden Edition . They both contain 16 pages of challenging but fun drills that will ignite your creativity and lead to confident calligraphy pen use!

Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills: Under the Sea Edition | The Postman's Knock

No matter what calligraphy skill level you’re at right now, I hope that you enjoy the calligraphy drills printable ! If you find it helpful, print off several copies and fill it out whenever you need to. Enjoy the rest of your day, and thanks so much for reading TPK!

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79 Pages of Free A to Z Calligraphy Practice Sheets for Perfecting Your Skills

free calligraphy practice sheets download

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If you're looking to improve your calligraphy skills, these free printable worksheets are a great place to start. With 79 pages of A to Z practice sheets, you'll have plenty of opportunities to perfect your lettering and create beautiful works of art. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced calligrapher, these worksheets are a valuable resource for honing your skills.

What is calligraphy?

Calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting. It involves using a variety of tools, such as pens, brushes, and markers, to create elegant and decorative lettering. Calligraphy has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations like China and Greece, and has been used for everything from religious texts to wedding invitations. Today, calligraphy is still a popular art form and is often used in graphic design, typography, and other creative fields.

Why practice calligraphy?

Practicing calligraphy can have many benefits, both practical and personal. For one, it can improve your handwriting and make it more legible and attractive. It can also help you develop patience, focus, and attention to detail. Additionally, calligraphy can be a relaxing and meditative activity, providing a creative outlet and a way to de-stress. Finally, if you're interested in pursuing a career in design or typography, calligraphy skills can be a valuable asset.

How to use the practice sheets.

To use the free calligraphy practice sheets, simply download and print them out. Each page includes a letter of the alphabet in both uppercase and lowercase, as well as a space for you to practice writing the letter yourself. Start by tracing the letter with a pencil, then try writing it on your own. Repeat this process for each letter until you feel comfortable with the strokes and shapes. As you progress, you can experiment with different pens and inks to create your own unique style. Happy practicing!

Tips for improving your calligraphy skills.

In addition to using the free calligraphy practice sheets, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your calligraphy skills. First, make sure you are holding your pen correctly and using the right amount of pressure. Practice writing slowly and deliberately, focusing on each stroke and shape. Experiment with different pens and inks to find the ones that work best for you. Finally, don't be afraid to make mistakes - calligraphy is all about practice and experimentation. Keep practicing and you'll be writing beautifully in no time!

Additional resources for learning calligraphy.

In addition to the free calligraphy practice sheets, there are many other resources available for learning calligraphy. Online courses, instructional books, and workshops can all be great ways to improve your skills and learn new techniques. You can also join calligraphy communities and forums to connect with other calligraphers and get feedback on your work. Don't be afraid to explore different resources and find what works best for you.

Calligraphy, the artistic expression of handwriting, has become a popular hobby and skill for many who appreciate the beauty of well-crafted letters. From calligraphy worksheets to various calligraphy pdf resources available online, there is an abundance of materials for those looking to master this elegant art form. Calligraphy fonts, which mimic the style of calligraphy writing, are often sought after for their unique and decorative appearance. These fonts can be used in a variety of contexts, such as wedding invitations, logos, and personalized stationery.

Calligraphy letters form the foundation of this art, with each individual letter showcasing the calligrapher's skill and precision. The calligraphy of alphabets, or the practice of creating each letter in a specific style, is a key aspect of learning calligraphy. The calligraphy alphabet typically includes both uppercase and lowercase letters, with each letter crafted using a set of unique strokes and flourishes. Calligraphy of English, or English calligraphy, is one of the most popular styles, as it encompasses a range of fonts and styles that suit a variety of applications.

Calligraphy English, or the practice of calligraphy in English, has a rich history and numerous meanings. At its core, calligraphy meaning refers to the design and execution of lettering with a broad-tipped instrument, brush, or other writing instruments. One of the most recognizable examples of calligraphy is the capital letter "A" in various styles. The calligrapher meaning, on the other hand, refers to the artist who skillfully creates these beautiful letterforms.

Calligraphy of a and calligraphy of s are just two examples of how individual letters can be transformed into artistic masterpieces. A comprehensive collection of calligraphy fonts, A to Z, can be found online, showcasing various styles and techniques. Calligraphy handwriting, which includes calligraphy A to Z, emphasizes the importance of mastering each letter in a consistent and precise manner.

Calligraphy how to write resources, such as calligraphy letters A to Z tutorials, can be invaluable for beginners. Calligraphy English writing, or the practice of calligraphy writing in English, can be learned through instructional materials, video tutorials, and in-person workshops. Calligraphy for beginners often starts with the calligraphy alphabet A to Z, allowing newcomers to familiarize themselves with the basic letterforms before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Calligraphy capital letters, which include uppercase calligraphy styles, can be more challenging to master due to their intricate and ornate designs. In contrast, lowercase calligraphy tends to be more approachable for beginners, as the letterforms are often simpler and more fluid. Calligraphy easy, or beginner-friendly calligraphy styles, can be a great starting point for those looking to learn this art form.

Calligraphy how to learn resources are abundant, with calligraphy learning materials available in various formats, such as books, websites, and video tutorials. Calligraphy practice sheets, including calligraphy worksheets and calligraphy abcd sheets, offer a structured way for learners to develop their skills. Calligraphy alphabet letters can be practiced using these worksheet for calligraphy materials, which often include traceable templates and guides for proper stroke order.

Handwritten notes pdf resources, which provide examples of calligraphy letter p, calligraphy letter m, and other individual letters, can serve as valuable references for students. Calligraphy handwriting A to Z guides offer a comprehensive overview of the various letterforms, including both uppercase calligraphy and lowercase calligraphy styles.

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Italic Calligraphy For Beginners (+FREE Worksheets)

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

This post and the photos within it may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a commission at no extra charge to you.

Italic calligraphy is one of the most famous calligraphy scripts in the history of the Latin Alphabet. 

It is a very dynamic and versatile script with many variations, and in today’s tutorial, we are going to cover the very basics to get you started.

This tutorial was created in collaboration with the very talented South Korean calligrapher known as @Slo.Leecalli . 

Slo is a professional calligrapher focused on traditional scripts, and he was kind enough to share tool recommendations, helpful tips as well as the practice sheets that you will be able to download from the Lettering Crate – the very same practice sheets he uses for the workshops he organizes.

Before we jump right into it, let’s have a quick overview of some of the things we will cover today –

  • What is Italic calligraphy and where does it come from
  • What tools do you need to get started with the Italic calligraphy?
  • Basic strokes & rules for the Italic script + the different lowercase letter groups
  •  FREE downloadable practice sheets
  • A few extra tips 
  • Additional resources
  • Final words about Italic calligraphy

Keep in mind that this is just a beginner’s introduction guide that covers the basics of the Italic script that will help you get started.

If you’re a complete beginner, check out the calligraphy beginner’s guide first.

There is so much more ground to cover, and it would be impossible to cover everything in a single article – precisely why I will recommend additional resources for further studying and practice.

Without any further delays, let’s get started with this tutorial!

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

 1. What is Italic calligraphy and where does it come from 

The Italic script (also known as Cancellaresca) was developed in Italy (hence the name) during the Renaissance era (14-15th century).

It is said that the Florentine humanist Niccolò de’ Niccoli used a cursive form of the Humanist minuscule to transcribe books for his own use – as the Humanist minuscule took too much time to write.

In other words, a new way of writing was born partially motivated by functionality. 

The Italic hand went under several stages of development in the next couple of hundred of years, and from Italy, it spread across the continent as the new and improved way of writing.

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

There was a significant decline in penmanship after the invention of the typewriter.

However, with the help of several calligraphers and their publications in the 19th century, the art of handwriting had been revived. 

Publications such as “Writing & Illumination & Lettering” (Edward Johnston, 1906) , “A Handwriting Manual and “Dryad Writing Cards” (Alfred Fairban, 1932) are some of the sources that impacted the way we learn and use the Italic script today. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

 2. Tools needed – a quick rundown of the recommended tools for Italic calligraphy

For practicing italic calligraphy, you will need the essential calligraphy tools.

However, you can also check the recommendation here below.

2.1 Writing tools

You can use almost any kind of writing tool to do the Italic script; however, the most common choice is the broad-edged pens.

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

If you are just getting started with Italic calligraphy or any other broad-edged script (blackletter for example) – the Pilot Parallel Pen is the best tool you can start with. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

And here is why –

The Parallel Pen is a fountain pen that uses ink cartridges, meaning that you won’t have to worry about dipping your pen in ink every couple of strokes – allowing you to focus entirely on learning the basics of a script. 

Besides that, the parallel pen is super simple to use, and it’s ready as soon as you take it out of the box.

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

The different parts of the Pilot Parallel Pen

The only down-side of the Pilot Parallel Pen is that it has a more substantial ink flow, meaning that some types of paper are not suitable for this tool because the ink will bleed all over it – don’t worry, we will mention some appropriate kinds of papers further in the article. 

The Parallel Pen is a great beginner’s tool for a variety of calligraphy styles.

Aside from the Pilot Parallel Pen , you can also go with the traditional straight holder + nib combo, and for that @Slo.lee has a few great recommendations –

  • Brause bandzug nib , 
  • Leonardt Tape nib , 
  • Mitchell Roundhand nib , 
  • Speedball C nib 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Slo also says –

‘’Between the two, parallel pen are more comfortable because you don’t have to use the ink separately (the ink cartridges), however, if you want to achieve a more sophisticated stroke, a dip pen is definitely a better choice.’’

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

2.2 Paper 

Calligraphy paper is a SUPER essential tool/element and understandably, often overlooked by beginners. 

Generally speaking, you should look for the low-absorbent smooth paper since ink bleeds are one of your worst enemies during calligraphy practice. 

This also depends on the combination of ink and paper. 

For example , it’s more likely that the Pilot Parallel pen will bleed through due to the heavier ink flow, while on the same paper using a dip pen and ink won’t have any problems at all. 

In the example below you can see the difference between premium print paper ( HP ) and high quality paper ( Fabriano )

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

For practice sessions it’s alright if the ink bleeds (although i find it quite irritating).

However, if you are working on a more important project – you can’t go wrong if you invest in quality paper.

Also, using paper with a slight tooth will give you an additional grip to your nib, making it easier to control your strokes – at the same time, using paper with too much tooth can make it too hard to control. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Another significant mention is to distinguish practice paper from paper used for final pieces. 

I mention this because the good paper is usually more expensive and you don’t want to just use it for practice. 

Here is a personal paper recommendation for both practice and final pieces –

Practice calligraphy paper (cheaper) –

  • Marker pads, bleed proof paper
  • HP Premium 32LB – Not the best for the Pilot Parallel Pen but works excellent with dip pen and ink or gouache.
  • Rhodia pads – great for both the parallel pen and dip pens

Calligraphy paper for final pieces (more expensive)

  • Watercolor paper (different kinds)
  • Khadi paper
  • Fabriano paper  
  • Clairefontaine Triomphe
  • Hahnemuhle paper
  • Strathmore calligraphy paper

I cover all this and much more in my guide on the best calligraphy papers.

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

2.3 Other tools – inks, rulers, pencils, erasers

Before we jump to the actual writing part, I just wanted to pitch a few more recommendations that could be useful not only for the Italic script but generally for calligraphy. 

Here are a couple of recommendations for different calligraphy inks –

  • Winsor & Newton calligraphy inks
  • Gouache – is very versatile, you can easily manipulate the viscosity by using more/less water, mix different colors, create your own tones and palettes – I personally enjoy this sort of freedom. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

The ruler – my absolute personal favorite (that I keep suggesting on every chance I get) is the rolling ruler.

The rolling ruler is a ruler with a wheel on the backside that allows you to draw quick parallel lines – ideal for calligraphy guidelines.

As for the pencil, I prefer to use a mechanical pencil simply because it can create very faint and fine lines without ever have to sharp it.

Finally, my choice for an eraser is the kneaded eraser – ideal for deleting fine and gently drawn lines + it never leaves any crumbs (no mess).

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

 3. Basic strokes & rules for the Italic script + the different lowercase letter groups

When learning the Italic script, it is crucial to learn the fundamental rules that dictate how to create it.

Of course, once you have learned these basic rules, you can start tweaking them and create your own styles and variations.

In other words – to break the rules, you must first learn them. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

3.1 Sizing –

Let’s start off with the sizing of the italic script. 

Like with many traditional scripts, the size of your letters is determined by the size of your tool.

In the case of the Italic script the rule is pretty straight forward.

The Italic script uses 5 contiguous nib widths for the central body part (x-height), ascenders and descenders – a 5:5:5 ratio . 

The capital Italic letters are a bit smaller than the ascending strokes, usually 7-8 nib widths .

Here is a visual representation –

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

3.2 Letter and pen angle –

The Italic script is written with a slight forward slant usually between 5-7 degrees.

There are also variations where the slant can go all the way to 30 degrees, but I would strongly suggest that you keep it between 5-10 degrees if you are just getting started. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

The pen angle is kept on a 40-45 degree angle for nearly every letter of the alphabet.

There are a few letters and strokes where you have to switch up the angle to maintain the proportions, and it’s relatively easy to memorize them. 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Another noteworthy mention is that the pen angle must change depending on the slant – if you are writing with a heavier slant you must adapt the pen angle to it; otherwise, the letters start to lose their shape.

This is something to consider once you begin working with a different variation, but as mentioned earlier, if you are just getting started – just stick to the 5-10 degree angle. 

3.3 Letter proportions –

Generally, the Italic letterforms are contained in a parallelogram shape with a horizontal to vertical ratio of 2:3

– meaning that the letters are longer than they are wider.

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Of course, you won’t be measuring every single letter with a ruler to get the exact proportions right.

Just try to remember to keep your letters within this shape. 

3.4 Basic strokes

The Italic alphabet is reasonably straightforward in its construction, but don’t let that simplicity fool you because it’s precisely the simplicity of its shapes that makes it challenging to learn. 

The image below shows the basic strokes used to construct most of the lowercase alphabet.

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

3.5 Pattern drills (super helpful!)

If you are entirely new to calligraphy and generally broad-edged scripts like Italic, I would highly recommend getting started with (pattern) drills.

This will help you to get to know the tools you are working with, and it will also help you to develop rhythm (super important), consistency and precision .

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

These sort of drills are great warm-up exercises even for those who are more familiar with the scripts. 

These pattern drills were taken from the book by Sheila Waters – Foundations Of Calligraphy. 

I would recommend that every time you practice, and before you start writing words, you simply fill one of this drill sheets. 

It will help your hand muscles warm up and get you ready to practice with letters and words. 

I’ve added a FREE downloadable and printable sheet along with the others – you can download them by signing up further below. 

3.6 Lowercase letter groups

A lot of the letters in the Italic script share similar shapes, and this is precisely the reason why we divide the (minuscule) letters into different groups – makes it easier to understand their relationship, and it’s easier to practice them as well.

The Italic lowercase (minuscule) alphabet can be divided into 4 different groups –

Group one – n, m, h, b, p, r – branching letters

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Group two – i, j, l, k, f, t – straight letters 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Group three – a, d, g, q, u, y – reverse branching letters 

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Group four – o, c, e, s, v, w, x, z – oval and diagonal letters

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

Check out also this YouTube tutorial by Joanne Fink where she demonstrates how to write the whole lowercase Italic alphabet –

free calligraphy practice sheets download

 4. FREE downloadable practice sheets

Here you can download the free practice sheets as well as the pattern drill sheet (as mentioned before).

The practice sheets need a 3mm nib width while the pattern drill is made for the green Pilot Parallel Pen 3.8 mm.

The practice sheets contain both majuscules (uppercase) and minuscules (lowercase).

Drop your email below, and you will get instant access to the Lettering Crate – a resource library filled with calligraphy worksheets (for different styles and techniques) procreate brushes and more.

Lettering Crate illustration

Stay updated with my tutorials and get instant access to the Lettering Crate –

A growing library of free lettering & calligraphy resources that includes –.

  • Calligraphy practice sheets
  • Procreate brushes
  • The 30-day lettering planner
  • Printables, and more!

 5. A few extra tips for Italic calligraphy

Here are a few additional tips from @slo.lee that you should consider when practicing the Italic script.

  • DO NOT PRACTICE WHOLE ALPHABETS – It is not an efficient way to practice, you should write the same kind of letter groups like “n” and “h” It is a better way to write alphabets consistently
  • Avoid keeping the start and endpoint of strokes too round
  • Practice minuscule more than majuscule
  • Do not be scared about making mistakes when learning

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

 6. Additional resources for learning the Italic script 

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is impossible to sum up everything about the Italic script in single article. 

Precisely the reason i would like to share some additional helpful resources –

  • Sheila waters – Foundations Of Calligraphy 
  • Fred Eager – The Italic way to beautiful handwriting: cursive and calligraphic
  • Margaret Shepherd – Learn calligraphy
  • Edward Johnston – Writing & Illumination & Lettering
  • Loyd Reynolds – Italic calligraphy and handwriting.
  • On YouTube, you can also find a video series on the Italic script by Loyd Reynolds – in fact, 20 full episodes! The video quality is not the best but keeps in mind it was filmed 40 years ago. Nonetheless, it’s a real gold mine for anyone who wants to learn more about Italic calligraphy. 

free calligraphy practice sheets download

Final words 

In this brief tutorial, we had the opportunity to explore some of the very basics of the Italic script. 

It’s a beautiful and very dynamic style of writing with a ton of variations to offer.

The construction of the letters is quite clear and straightforward.

However, it takes a lot of time and practice to develop the skill of writing consistent letterforms. 

Consistent practice is essential, but please remember that the way you practice plays a vital role in the development of your skills.

That pretty much goes for every lettering/calligraphy style. 

Is there something you don’t understand?   

Maybe you have a specific question in mind, or perhaps you want to get some constructive feedback on your artwork?

Feel free to drop a comment below, or even better –

Join our  official Facebook group!

Our group is a place where you can –

  • Share your work
  • Get constructive feedback
  • Network with fellow lettering & calligraphy artists
  • Ask specific questions about lettering & calligraphy

Thank you for joining for another tutorial, and until the next time –

Stay AWESOME!!

Italic Calligraphy For Beginners - Lettering Daily

About the author

Photo of Max Juric, the guy behind Lettering Daily.

Meet Max Juric, a dedicated calligraphy and hand lettering artist with over a decade of experience. His artistic journey is deeply rooted in a passion for lettering and a commitment to continuous growth. Max’s extensive experience spans several years as a full-time lettering artist, collaborating with clients from around the globe. Over the past five years, Max has actively shared his expertise, reaching more than 100,000 individuals monthly through a rich array of educational resources. These resources include tutorials, interviews, articles, and podcasts. Max’s practical experience, combined with his unwavering dedication to his craft, sets him apart in the realm of hand lettering and calligraphy. With an educational platform offering over 100 long-form resources, Max aims to guide artists and enthusiasts in enhancing their hand lettering and calligraphy skills. Welcome to Lettering Daily, where artistic expression and learning beautifully intersect.

47 thoughts on “Italic Calligraphy For Beginners (+FREE Worksheets)”

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Thanks! Really helps!

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Happy to hear that 🙂

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I really enjoyed your article. I’m not sure how to get the guide sheets but I would appreciate it if you could send them to me. thanks so much!

All the worksheets are inside the Lettering Crate. Just sign up for the newsletter and follow the instructions to get access to all of the freebies i currently offer.

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Hi Can you please send my the beginner italic template. I’m just starting out. This had been very helpful.

Hey Jacky, all the freebies are inside the Lettering Crate. Just drop your email on the sign up form, follow the instructions and you’ll get instant access to the Crate.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an email.

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Jacky, please send your practice sheets! Thank you! Linda

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I am beginner. I want to learn the Italic calligraphy. Thanks

' src=

Can you send me the beginner download pages. I’m eager to get started.

Thank you, Melody Kuemin

All the worksheets are inside the Lettering Crate. Just sign up for the newsletter and follow the steps.

' src=

Hi! Subscribed a while ago, and still no email. Is it automatic? TIA, Laurie

Send me an email with the address that you used and ill fix it right away.

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Hello! Thank you so much for putting this together. I’m going to start my journey on calligraphy and excited to start with Italics. Quick question, the practice templates are they formatted for letter size? planning to have them printed out somewhere since I don’t have a printer at home.

Thanks so much in advance 🙂

Thank you for the kind comment, Daphne. The worksheets are all A4 paper size so it’s a standard format. The size of letters, however, is for a specific nib size.

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I am an alien who was born and grew up in Thailand. 🙂 2020 Christmas made me think of writing a beautiful wishes card. Fortunately, my boss read my mind. She just asked for my help with 20 cards.

And I have found this the most helpful article I ever had. Just want to say Thank you so very much, indeed. From now on I will start learning in real since I started only dreaming for years. I am in. Once again, I appreciated this.

Thank you so much, Hatty! Im really glad to hear that this article was helpful for you 🙂

' src=

Hi. I just entered my email and confirmed it from my inbox. Excited to start learning Italic calligraphy, but I’m much more interested in the sharpened style of the Italic alphabet. Are there any resources here? Also I do plan on getting Pilot Parallel pens. Main goal is to just use 1.1mm or 1.5mm stub nib fountain pens writing pen pals letters. I’d like to know if there are any other parts of this website talking about adapting broad edge calligraphy to every day pocketable writing as long as the paper can handle the ink flow. Italic and chancery shouldn’t be too difficult. Thanks!

Thank you so much for your comment and suggestion. I don’t have anything like that yet, but it will go definitely on the topic list I have for the site 🙂

' src=

Thank you for your intro and tutorial. I would like to access your practice sheets.

Thank you Peter, the worksheets are located in the Lettering Crate. Drop your email and you’ll get instant access to the Lettering Crate. Aside from these worksheets, you’ll be able to download all the currently available worksheets. If you have any questions, shoot me an email 🙂

' src=

I am a beginner. Thanks.

' src=

All lines are loving and caring. I want to know how to write rr , ss ,tt, vw ff in italic hand ..

Hey Amit, I will most definitely address that in the next update. Thank you for your feedback!

' src=

Many thanks, super excited to know more about calligraphy. Lettering daily page cleared many of my doubts. Thanks again…

Thank you Sakthi! I really appreciate it 🙂

' src=

Hi, Unregistered a few months ago and have been receiving the newsletters but haven’t been able to access the crate. When I try to access it I keeps telling me I have the wrong password and I can’t see my way to reset it.

If you could help that would be great!

Thanks Alex

Hey Alex, please shoot me an email in case you are struggling with accessing the Lettering Crate.

' src=

I love this website and now my 12 year old just got her first ‘pen’ for her birthday she is reading your articles too. Thank you – you are such an inspiration!

Thank you, Michelle! I am so happy to hear that 🙂

Hey Deana, please send me an email and i will fix the issue asap! 🙂

Hello Sandra,

What link did you try to download the sheets? Have you signed up for the Lettering Crate?

Hey Amy, sorry to hear that you are struggling with this. Please send me an email directly and I will help you fix the issue ASAP 🙂

' src=

Thank you for your sharing~~ I need practice sheets.

Did you sign up for the newsletter and the Lettering Crate?

I signed up for it , but still didn’t get it !!

Please send me an email and ill fix it right away! 🙂

' src=

thank you for this.

You are very welcome!

' src=

Looking forward to learning more!

Glad you do Barry! 🙂

' src=

I’ve registered my email address but I haven’t yet received the confirmation email. When can I expect it? I would really like to try out the resources you’ve provided. I

Hey Sorry to hear that! Unfortunately, sometimes these emails tend to end up either in the spam folder or other folders your email provider has (like promotions). The best way to deal with this situation is to shoot me an email directly. Then I can check it from my end and fix any roadblocks there might be. I reply to emails the same or the next day, whereas I only visit website comments once or twice a month. Thank you for understanding! 🙂

Hey Patricia, my apologies for the late response on your comment. I was traveling and then i was moving to a new place and i really didn’t had the time to reply to every comment. I am really sorry you were facing issues with the subscription and I am more than willing to help you sort this out. Please shoot me an email at – [email protected]

I will get you going in no time! 🙂

' src=

beginner need HELP

How can I help Gill?

Hello Margaret, i cannot take your email. You have to place it in the designated area (the sign-up form) and then confirm your subscription. If you need help with that, i’ll be happy to oblige 🙂

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Brush Pen Calligraphy Basics- Plus Free Printable Practice Sheets!

Alrighty friend, this post is a doozy. All about getting started with brush pen calligraphy. Before we get going I want to point out that I created a free printable practice sheet for you to have! Just click here to download .

Brush pen calligraphy has been taking the world by storm lately! And for good reason! Brush pens are so fun because you can create a huge variety of lettering styles with just one pen! (If you have seen my post on 10 easy hand lettering styles , every one of those styles can be done by using only a brush pen! ) They also don’t leave much of a mess, and generally are pretty easy to learn to work with!

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

It really is a fun skill to learn because it can push your art to the next level. For example, learning brush lettering has completely changed the way I do Bible journaling. Before, I would only apply some basic watercolor and write the key verse down in my normal handwriting. Not that there is anything wrong with that!!! But now I use brush calligraphy, or brush lettering, in 99.9% of my Bible journaling pages, and I just feel a bit prouder of my page by doing so. I know that God thinks every page I do, no matter what it looks like, is beautiful -because it’s a reflecting of my love for him and his word- But we all want to make our art as pretty as possible right?

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

So I thought it about time that I give you a basic overview of what brush pen calligraphy is and how to do it!

I also have free calligraphy worksheets for you to have! Use them to practice useful shapes and the alphabet in both uppercase and lowercase! So go ahead and click here or on the image below and print those out! – If you decide to use them and post it on Instagram, tag me so I can see! I’d love to see your work- @scribblinggrace .

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

I think that it is easier to both show, and learn, how to do brush calligraphy through a visual, so I made a video! But I know sometimes I need the steps in writing as well, so feel free to keep scrolling to learn more!

Picking your Brush Pen

A brush pen is essentially a marker with a bendy tip. Some brush pens have bristles like a paint brush, but most have a felt tip (like a normal marker). I personally prefer the felt-tipped ones, but that could be a fun thing to play around with!

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

Perhaps the favorite among all brush calligraphers, and the most recommended brush pen for beginners, is the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush pens. I have talked about them before in my post on “Best Pens for Bible Journaling” but I really just can’t rave about this pen enough. You can get a pack here on Amazon (affiliate link) That has both the hard tip and soft tip Fudenosuke. The two tips are basically the same, just the tip of the soft tip is more bendy so it can create slightly larger downstrokes (I’ll get to what downstrokes are in a second…) The soft tip can be a little harder to control for some, so I usually recommend starting with the hard tip. Or just try both ;).

Bonus- the Tombow Fudenosuke also does not bleed through Journaling Bible pages and it is waterproof!

There’s a bunch of other really great brush pens as well, such as Pentel Touch brush pens and Tombow Dual brush pens which come in a bunch of different colors. These, however, are not the best for Bible journaling as they tend to bleed through an unprepared page. They are also not waterproof.

I recommend starting out with the Fudenosuke and then as you get more comfortable with the technique, branching out and trying other types of brush pens. The three I mentioned are just a very few out of the available options out there in stores.

What is calligraphy?

Before you get started you need to understand the foundation of calligraphy and what it is. There are 3 types of calligraphy:

Faux calligraphy – Which I have a tutorial on here and definitely recommend starting with; as you don’t need any fancy supplies, just a normal pen.

Brush pen calligraphy – Which we are talking about today

Dip-pen calligraphy – This is the original and traditional form of calligraphy, using a nib and ink. As the name suggests, you dip your nib into the ink to write with. This is how I started learning calligraphy, and while it is beautiful, it is not the most practical and is quite difficult to get the hang of. It also doesn’t work too well in Bible journaling, as you could imagine.

So, all three forms of calligraphy are based on the same three strokes. The downstroke, the upstroke, and the midstroke.

They are all fairly self-explanatory.

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

– The downstroke is the most important. It is when your pen is gliding downward. The key is that the downstroke is thicker than the rest. In faux calligraphy, this thicker downstroke is created by manually thickening it up after writing the letter. But in brush pen or dip pen calligraphy, this downstroke is created by applying pressure to you pen when going downward.

– The upstroke is, of course, when your stroke is going upward. For this stroke, you only want to apply just enough pressure that the tip of your pen touches the paper. You want to keep it as thin as possible! This creates that beautiful look of the thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes that calligraphy is all about.

– The midstroke would be like the crossbar in the “t” or “H” this one is usually kept pretty thin but does not matter so much as the other strokes.

So the main concept of creating brush calligraphy?

When your brush is going down apply pressure- when your brush is going up, apply very little pressure. .

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

It sounds simple! And really it is, It just takes some practice to get a hang of it.

I suggest trying it out using the free worksheets I made. On the first page, there are common shapes that are used to form letters. When you see the arrow on my example going down, push on that pen! When you see the arrow going up, try to see how tiny you can make that line.

Learn how to do brush pen calligraphy for beginners! Including free brush pen calligraphy practice sheets!

Some key things to note:

  • Brush pens work best by holding them at a 45-degree angle, as you could see in the images above. The WAY you hold your pen is totally up to you and how you feel comfortable, just try playing around with the angle.
  • Do your best to apply even pressure through the whole stroke, otherwise, you will end up with wonky letters.
  • If it is too hard to go from applying pressure to lessening that pressure in one go (such as a downstroke into and upstroke; or the other way around) without lifting the pen; there is nothing wrong with pausing, lifting your pen, and then starting again!
  • All it takes is practice practice practice!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or comments!

Also, be sure not to miss out on the free printable worksheets, and watch the video to go along with this post if you need to see it in action.

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Easy abstract outlined florals- bible journaling for beginners, bible journaling with me- acrylic ocean scene, bubble painting in your journaling bible- a super fun technique to try, bible journaling with me – watercolor roses tutorial, bible journaling- three fun, easy, and creative techniques to try.

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CBSE Class 10 Hindi A Practice Paper 2024 with Solutions: Best for Last Minute Revision

Cbse class 10 hindi a practice paper 2024: download here the cbse class 10 hindi a practice paper with solutions to prepare for the upcoming cbse class 10 hindi exam 2024. these questions are best for last minute revision and assess your preparedness for the exam..

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COMMENTS

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    31+ Free Printable Lettering And Calligraphy Worksheets Masha Plans September 27, 2023 Sharing is caring! Looking for a way to improve your Bullet Journal lettering? You're in the right place; here are tons of FREE printable hand lettering worksheets to help you master this skill.

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    Paper Ruler Pencil Pens You can practice the basic calligraphy strokes using a brush pen, pointed nib, or even a regular pencil. If you're just getting started, I recommend (links to Amazon) - Small brush pen - Tombow Fudenosuke or Pentel Touch Brush Pen 2B Pencil

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    Modern Calligraphy Worksheets. For personal use only. PC users- unzip folder before opening the files. Download these 3 Free Printable Modern Calligraphy Practice Sheets to try 3 different lettering styles. Plus, discover new calligraphy materials.

  17. 79 Pages of Free A to Z Calligraphy Practice Sheets for Perfecting Your

    To use the free calligraphy practice sheets, simply download and print them out. Each page includes a letter of the alphabet in both uppercase and lowercase, as well as a space for you to practice writing the letter yourself. Start by tracing the letter with a pencil, then try writing it on your own. Repeat this process for each letter until ...

  18. Italic Calligraphy For Beginners (+FREE Worksheets)

    Here you can download the free practice sheets as well as the pattern drill sheet (as mentioned before). The practice sheets need a 3mm nib width while the pattern drill is made for the green Pilot Parallel Pen 3.8 mm. The practice sheets contain both majuscules (uppercase) and minuscules (lowercase).

  19. Brush Pen Calligraphy Basics- Plus Free Printable Practice Sheets

    It is when your pen is gliding downward. The key is that the downstroke is thicker than the rest. In faux calligraphy, this thicker downstroke is created by manually thickening it up after writing the letter. But in brush pen or dip pen calligraphy, this downstroke is created by applying pressure to you pen when going downward.

  20. 8 Basic Calligraphy Strokes (History + Free Worksheet!)

    8 Basic Calligraphy Strokes (Free Worksheet!) — Loveleigh Loops. 8 Basic Calligraphy Strokes (+ Free Basic Strokes Practice Sheet!) #basicstrokes #calligraphy. Watch on. What are the 8 basic calligraphy strokes, and where do they come from? Learn the history and how to write them in this easy beginner's guide. Free worksheets included!

  21. Free Printable Calligraphy Alphabet Worksheets

    Start your creative journey today - download our Free Printable Calligraphy Alphabet Worksheets and watch your writing flourish with elegance and grace. Whether you print and practice with pen and ink or use the worksheets with a tablet for digital calligraphy, you are sure to transform your passion into skill, one stroke at a time!

  22. Calligraphy Worksheets and Other Resources

    Download your FREE Lilac Script Calligraphy warm-up practice drill worksheets, basic stroke worksheets, copperplate and modern calligraphy guidelines, and more!

  23. Free Downloads

    Download our free worksheets and templates to help you get started! Choose from learning the basics of calligraphy to 3D Lettering, activity sheets for kids through to Easter card making! Download now and get started! DOWNLOAD OUR FREE PROJECTS AND TUTORIALS. Create Your Own Christmas Baubles.

  24. Calligraphy Worksheets Download [Video]

    Welcome to MironDesign.etsy.com 🖊 This packet contains a pages of script handwriting practice sheets. This packet can be for anyone. Hone your calligraphy skills and learn Modern Lettering! Learn calligraphy lettering with these practice sheets! This set includes 35 pages .The pages include months, days, numbers, alphabets, words, lined/grid ...

  25. CBSE Class 10 Hindi Practice Paper 2024 with Solutions, Free PDF Download

    CBSE Class 10 Maths 2 Marks Important Questions for 2024 Board Exam, Download Free PDF 27 mins ago This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide ...